United Airlines Revamps Cabins, Adds Flat-Bed Seating on "p.s." Flights
CHICAGO, March 18, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- United Airlines today introduced its first aircraft equipped with flat-bed seats in a revamped premium cabin, all-new interiors, personal on-demand entertainment, Wi-Fi connectivity, in-seat power and USB ports on its transcontinental "p.s." Premium Service. United flight 651, the first flight with the completely new cabin experience, departed Los Angeles International Airport this morning to New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport.
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United offers its p.s. service on all nonstop flights between New York Kennedy and both Los Angeles, with 40 flights each way per week, and San Francisco, with 46 flights each way per week.
The fully refreshed interior offers 28 flat-bed premium-cabin seats, replacing the 12 angled lie-flat and 26 reclining seats in the premium cabins on the traditional p.s. fleet. The new configuration also features 48 extra-legroom Economy Plus seats and 66 seats in United Economy.
"With these investments in our p.s. service, United will offer an unmatched inflight experience for coast-to-coast travel," said Jim Compton, vice chairman and chief revenue officer at United. "As the airline with the most flights from the New York region, Los Angeles and San Francisco, we are committed to giving our customers convenient travel options and the premium service they expect from the world's leading airline."
Upgraded Service and Amenities
Customers traveling on p.s. flights experience a higher level of service in the air and on the ground, including amenities usually reserved for long-haul international flights.
The reconfigured p.s. aircraft will offer travelers:
- New Seats: Customers in the premium cabin enjoy 180-degree flat-bed seats, which offer up to 6'4" of sleeping space and more storage.
- Inflight Entertainment: Customers throughout the aircraft have access to personal on-demand entertainment featuring a newly designed interactive touchscreen and more than 150 hours of programming. Individual monitors are 15.4" in the premium cabin and 9" in United Economy.
- Inflight Dining: United gives premium-cabin customers several dining options and wine selections recommended by Doug Frost, United's Master Sommelier and Master of Wine.
- Inflight Connectivity: Customers throughout the aircraft can opt to stay connected with Gogo® inflight Internet service. The aircraft also features power outlets and USB ports in every seat.
- On the Ground Perks: Customers in the premium cabin and premier-level MileagePlus members have access to United Premier Access check-in and priority boarding lanes. Premium-cabin customers also have access to United Club locations at New York Kennedy, Los Angeles and San Francisco.
p.s. through the Years
United launched p.s. service in 2004, becoming the first airline to offer premium international-style service on transcontinental flights, including lie-flat seats and personal entertainment devices for United First customers, and reclining seats in United Business. In 2009, United began offering Gogo® inflight Internet service to customers on p.s. flights.
In October 2012, United became the first airline to offer regularly scheduled service with 180-degree flat beds in premium cabins on these routes. These aircraft also feature extra-legroom Economy Plus seating and personal on-demand entertainment throughout the aircraft.
The newly configured p.s. aircraft that United is introducing today offer a similar but expanded premium cabin, an upgraded inflight entertainment system and Gogo® inflight Internet service.
United anticipates launching more reconfigured aircraft into service in June. Until then, most flights on these routes will offer the traditional p.s. service. United expects to reconfigure the entire p.s. fleet by the end of the year. Until the project is complete, the airline will operate these flights with a mix of aircraft.
United in New York
United and United Express offer more flights and more seats from the New York area to more cities around the world than any other airline. This summer, United and United Express will operate nearly 500 daily departures from the three major New York-area airports to more than 150 destinations - the most in North America, the most across the Atlantic, the most across the Pacific and the most to and from Latin America.
United also offers the most flat-bed seats and extra-legroom economy-class seating of any airline in the world, and the most from the New York area.
The airline offers frequent daily service from the New York-area airports to top business travel markets including Chicago, Houston, Boston, Los Angeles and San Francisco.
Onboard Product Investment
The p.s. enhancements come as United is investing more than $550 million in its onboard products. These improvements include:
- Adding flat-bed seating on all of the airline's long-haul aircraft, bringing the total number of aircraft with flat-bed seats to 185, more than any other U.S. carrier.
- Adding Economy Plus seating and Channel 9 air traffic control audio to more than 300 aircraft. The airline has completed the Economy Plus installation on all but two dozen aircraft.
- Nearly doubling the overhead storage space on more than 150 Airbus aircraft, with more than half of those retrofits completed.
- Installing satellite Wi-Fi, with the first satellite-equipped aircraft having entered service in January.
- Introducing streaming wireless video onboard its Boeing 747-400 aircraft.
United Airlines and United Express operate an average of 5,472 flights a day to 381 airports across six continents. In 2012, United and United Express carried more passenger traffic than any other airline in the world and operated nearly two million flights carrying 140 million customers. United is investing in upgrading its onboard products and now offers more flat-bed seats in its premium cabins and more extra-legroom economy-class seating than any airline in North America. In 2013, United became the first U.S.-based international carrier to offer satellite-based Wi-Fi on long-haul overseas routes. The airline also features DIRECTV® on nearly 200 aircraft, offering customers more live television access than any other airline in the world. United operates nearly 700 mainline aircraft and has made large-scale investments in its fleet. In 2013, United will continue to modernize its fleet by taking delivery of more than two dozen new Boeing aircraft. The company expanded its industry-leading global route network in 2012, launching nine new international and 18 new domestic routes. Business Traveler magazine awarded United Best Airline for North American Travel for 2012, and readers of Global Traveler magazine have voted United's MileagePlus program the best frequent flyer program for nine consecutive years. United is a founding member of Star Alliance, which provides service to 194 countries via 27 member airlines. More than 85,000 United employees reside in every U.S. state and in countries around the world. For more information, visit united.com or follow United on Twitter and Facebook. The common stock of United's parent, United Continental Holdings, Inc., is traded on the NYSE under the symbol UAL.
SOURCE United Airlines
Posted: March 18, 2013